The grocery chain’s president and deputy chief executive, Joe Basalone, addressed rumors of an imminent rollout of self-checkout lanes on a recent company podcast.

“It’s just so fake because we believe in people, we’re not trying to fire our workers for efficiency or whatever, and I don’t know what’s the reason people set up self-checkout,” Bartholon said.

Basalone noted that despite his long background in the grocery industry, even he had trouble using the self-checkout devices that are becoming more popular in retail locations.

“I was in a store and couldn’t scan the thing,” he said. “Then the guy came up and tried to explain it to me. I was like, I do this for a living, but I can’t make this thing work.”

CEO Bryan Palbaum, also on the podcast, laid out the frustrations of self-checkouts, saying, “Self-checkouts are jobs. I don’t want that.”

While shoppers may be happy to hear they can still enjoy some human interaction at the chain, they may be more disappointed by other rumors of Trader Joe’s developments that have been dismissed by executives.

Heard the store will be offering drive-thru sampler cups? No.

An in-store restaurant? Did not happen.

Instead, they plan to continue to operate Trader Joe’s as they have for years because, for many new customers, the store has marked a fundamental shift from other grocery stores, the executive said.

“What might feel stale to us is brand new to all new customers, no matter where they are located, even in our existing stores,” says Palbaum. “For new customers who walk in, I think one of the most exciting products they’ll see is the peanut butter pretzel. How long have we been eating peanut butter pretzels? Thirty, forty years? Yeah , for decades. But if you’ve never had a peanut butter pretzel, it’s unbelievable. It’s a new experience. It’s exciting. It’s new.”


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